Pollution is a global issue and every now and then we hear about how reforms are being implemented to keep it in check. However, a small village in India doesn’t need such reforms. The village of Mawlynnong has a zero tolerance for garbage and invests time in ensuring that whole of village is clean and spotless. It was dubbed as ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’ back in 2003 by a journalist from Discover Magazine.
Upon finding out that a community exists where everyone is dedicated to cleanliness, he decided to see it for himself. Upon his visit, what he witnessed impressed him so much that he named Mawlynnong as ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’. His article put the village on the radar and a lot of people started to travel from all over the world to check out this example of cleanliness.
Why Is Mawlynnong Community Dedicated Towards Cleanliness?
Some believe that the instillation of keeping the village clean happened about 130 years ago. It is said it happened when an outbreak of cholera took place. To stop the disease from spreading further, cleanliness was suggested. However, many credit the matrilineal society of the local Khasi people for this high standard of cleanliness. The society’s dominant role of women as the catalyst for the sanitation and cleanliness also plays its part. Whatever the reason for this obsession, one thing is certain; it has carried forward through generations and prospered.
How Is This State of Cleanliness Achieved?
How is this state of cleanliness achieved? The answer lies in the simple but effective system that has been adopted by Mawlynnong. It involves everyone in the community and that is the secret to success in achieving the desirable result. All the children, before going to school, have to sweep the streets of fallen leaves and dirt. The young generation is also responsible for emptying the bamboo trash baskets. They also segregate the waste into reusable plastic, organic matter and burnable garbage.
Tourists usually litter in the village, however, the village leads by example. Such tourists aren’t scolded and the villagers clean after them. Every household in Mawlynnong enjoys the privilege of having its own toilet thus rendering open defecation a non-issue. The village makes use of clean power for its usage, mostly solar. Teams of dedicated gardeners are employed. They ensure that the flowers and plants that have been planted are well taken care of. The village has successfully managed to embed the cleanliness into lives of its people. The result of this can be seen in the way the villagers live their lives.